The ivory-billed woodpecker(Campephilus principalis) was one of the largest woodpeckers in the world and certainly the largest to inhabit North America. Tragically, after relentless decades of hunting, pollution, and deforestation, this magnificent bird is largely believed to have gone the way of the thylacine and the quagga. Granted, there have been some alleged sightings in recent years, but nothing confirmed. Even if a few ivory bills do indeed still exist, it’s pretty doubtful that they’ll be around for much longer in these increasingly dark, selfish, and ignorant times.
New for 2017 from CollectA, this ivory-billed woodpecker figure is mounted on a thick pine branch. The bird itself measures around 8 cm long while the branch stands 9.5 cm tall. The bark is coloured dark brown while the sapwood beneath is beige and orange. Both parts have very realistic textures and the many gouges in the branch suggest that this woodpecker has been hard at work for some time.
The prominent red crest on this woodpecker’s head shows that it is an adult male (females had black crests). The bill (which was not actually made of ivory!) is coloured a very pale yellow with some faint orange streaks. The plumage is black with white wingtips and markings, the claws are taupe grey, and the eyes are pale yellow. There’s also a smattering of white on the wings to give them a shiny appearance. All in keeping with the known descriptions and specimens.
The detailing on this woodpecker is really top notch. The many feathers have been painstakingly sculpted and the feet, which are in a zygodactyly arrangement, are appropriately scaly. It really does look like the real deal. Indeed, looking at this beautiful, regal bird, it’s no wonder that its nicknames include the Holy Grail bird, the Lord God bird, the Elvis bird, and the King of Woodpeckers. As I mentioned in the introductory paragraph, there have been recent reports of sightings, and even some purported video, but none confirmed. It is more likely that the ivory-billed woodpecker has joined its theropod cousins in extinction. 🙁
Overall, I find this ivory-billed woodpecker to be a fantastic little figure, albeit a very saddening one. I’d certainly love to see CollectA tackle other recently extinct dinosaurs such as the moa, the dodo, the great auk, and the passenger pigeon. The fact of the matter is that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction, caused directly by our own hands, and every little reminder of this can possibly help to prevent it.
On a brighter note, this has been my 50th review for CollectA’s products. Over the past two years, they have been immensely generous in sending me various review samples and I cannot thank them enough for it. Keep up the excellent work, CollectA. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year!